So apparently that is how the second season’s title is written. Did not notice this before. Anyway this is my review of Show By Rock!!#, aka Show By Rock Season 2.
Check out my review of the first season HERE.
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai.
Themes: Bands, Music, Light Rock, Metal, Urban.
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: In the future an intergalactic empire led by Queen Victorious threatens to destroy all music on Sound Planet and the Sound Galaxy. Sound Planet’s greatest musicians are not strong enough to combat the evil. To prevent this catastrophe from happening, time ninjas travel to the past to ask for the aid of the legendary heroine who had helped save Sound Planet once before in order to stop the lead singer of BUD VIRGIN LOGIC, who is believed to be Queen Victorious in disguise on Earth, from initiating her master plan before it is too late.
Apart from that pretty cool setup SBR 2 is more of the same that made the first season enjoyable for the most part, with a few differences here and there:
- The show is still a lighthearted adventure with lots of really good musical numbers and cuteness, with some more sexiness and more machismo sprinkled here and there.
- Though lighthearted for the most part there are some more serious character moments this time around, mainly for the guys and gals who were the most affected by the evnts of the first season. The newcomers like the ARCAREAFACT and BUD VIRGIN LOGIC bands to name a few also have their own serious character moments.
- As far as the returning cast go, some get a lot of screen time such as our main heroines of Plasmagica, the manliest of men in Shingancrimsonz and the cuties with modest boobies of Criticrista. Some of the other veteran bands show up from time to time while others are relegated to one-off cameos or background characters. Some of the newcomers also do not have much of a role until near the last quarter of the season.
- There are also much fewer CG chibi Dark Monster battles. The CG battle of the bands and performances are still prevalent and may arguably be better than last season because for story relevance and coolness points the songs all feel more pasionate than before. Having said that however, the main plot of “changing Sound Galaxy’s horrible future” kind of takes a back seat. To make up for the main plot being put in the back burner for the most part the second season focuses on its biggest draw which I mentioned above, a stronger emphasis on character development. Some veterans like Moa get more exploration into who they are and what they play music for whereas for certain characters why they dislike music. Basically the show addressed some of the first season’s complaints at the cost of toning down other things that made it awesome. Thankfully it was done well enough for it to not be a major issue and helped boost the second season’s entertainment value.
Other than what I mentioned above most of what makes Show By Rock enjoyable is present in season 2. The animation and music are similar to season 1 with some imporvements here and there such as the aforementioned more passionate songs and the animation being more colorful.
As for the yuri it is still there though somewhat subdued…yet not at the same time. See, Retoree still has a huge crush on Cyan and always expresses the most joy or concern for her in given situations. However, she is not as direct with her advances on Cyan, meaning she does not…fawn shall we say, as much as she used to last season. There is a bright side, not only are Retoree’s feelings for Cyan known by her friends but they also do not make a big deal of it. What I mean is “Oh, Retoree has a crush on Cyan. Cool”. Another highlight is that Cyan strongly hints of being aware of Retoree’s “more than friends” feelings for her and…she even subtly gives Retoree opportunieis to court her. Basically the yuri is toned down in its intensity but also subtly ramped up at the same time.
I do have one gripe with the second season and it is one I am certain readers who have watched SBR2 can guess what it is. The term “rushed” gets thrown around often on the internet whenever someone wants to express dissatisfaction for a show. It got to a point where I began scrathing my head and wondering whether these people knew what “rushed” means. Having said that, I do not know how many share this sentiment but as far as the SBR2 season finale goes…”rushed” would be the best way I could describe it. I guess I was disappointed by the finale, which is uncommon for me. On the bright side the journey was so enjoyable that the lackluster destination did not ruin my viewing experience.
Overall Show By Rock!!# (season 2) has some improvements over the first season. Ir fills some gaps at the cost of lessening some of its defining features. While it did a pretty good job with what it improved on, the lessening could still be felt. I still enjoyed watching it…though the series needss just a bit more to really knock my socks off. Perhaps a third season, movie or super mega OVA. Readers who enjoyed the first season will definitely enjoy this one as well. The same goes for readers who enjoy cuteness, occasional sexiness, machismo and great songs.
PS: As far as Show By Rock!! Short! goes it fulfilled its purpose as a decent appetizer in preparation for the main course that was season 2.
PPS: Master Darudayu is still a sexy beast and her students are also still lovely.
To be continue…
I can see your point about the rushed feeling somewhat, especially in the last episode. After all that “She’s really powerful enough to take over/destroy the world and nobody can stop her” feeling in episode 1, she was taken out pretty fast, even if the heroines/heroes did prepare somewhat for defeating her. Also somewhat disappointed the time-ninja-band didn’t have more of a role than just being messengers/a glorified transport system in the end, and that Ailane and her band weren’t a part of the final battle. The show really could’ve used an episode 13 with a longer fight split between the episodes and Victorious actually feeling like a true threat in the fight, rather than mostly only seeming to win for a moment due to other’s failings/silliness…
Speaking of Victorious, kind of sad they didn’t use/show Astreal at the end at all, or offer viewers a possibility of that re-conciliation at all. That said, it might be a good thing, since it would’ve needed a good chunk of time that would’ve away from other things in order to feel like a proper reconciliation, and the episode was already cluttered enough as it was. Possible side-plotline/episode in season 3, with maybe Plasmagica going to Victorious’ planet/Ordinis to help them reconcile, also giving them a chance to see the planet?
So, no sign of Retoree’s confession scene this season either. Oh well. At least there’s (small) signs it could actually happen? In the next season/part, pretty please.
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Yeah. A 13th episode would have been just what the show needed.
Oh well, here’s hoping for a continuation of some kind.
I have a feeling that Cyan has to go back every time the world is in trouble. Hopefully, she will be able to come back on her own instead of being forced to. Either way, if there is a continuation, hopefully Retoree and Cyan will actually become a thing.
But yes, it seems that the second season is not over the top compared to the first, but still enjoyable.
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Hopefully she will return once more for the Sound World and Retoree’s sake. Poor dear couldn’t hold back her sorrow no matter how hard she tried.
It was another solid season.
Show by Rock (season 3?):
Cyan: I’m back guys.
Retoree (clutching a box that suspiciously looks like it may contain a ring behind her back): Cyan, we need to talk…
I mean, I don’t think Retoree (or us) can handle Cyan going back to her own world a third time without at least popping the question. Also, I want a third season already! (Or at least an OVA.)
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Oh yes. We need a continuation.
Basically, around ep11 is when the plot just went into hyperdrive and stopped making as much sense. That was a REALLY contrived “betrayal” that needed build up in some way, instead of literally coming out of nowhere. And, to top that off, they didn’t even do anything with it. For whatever reason, even though there was PLENTY of fuel to the “Friendship can work out even between embittered people” route…they just went to “Don’t you remember? You loved music!” route that Ailene already ran through. So yeah, “rushed” was definitely what happened here.
And I was crushed when Retoree yet again had to say goodbye to Cyan, with no real knowledge that she’d ever be able to return. That girl has it the worst…the staff really need to give her a break, why in the world couldn’t we have ended it where Cyan could travel freely back and forth!?
Anyway, everything up to that point was fantastic, and just so everloving enjoyable~ So, while the finale really fell flat, it still was a great journey. And it’s not like the finale undid everything that happened, just was particularly weak.
The problem wasn’t her backstory. That was fine. It’s that nothing came of it. For SBR standards killing off a character is unusual.
Don’t remind me of that ending. Poor Retoree couldn’t hold back the pain of seeing her beloved leaving AGAIN.
Still felt like a lackluster conclusion, though as you said the rest was good.
There has to be some kind of followup/resolution to the Cyan / Retoree relationship. It feels druel the way she keeps going back, and I don’t think it adds anything, so I don’t see why they keep doing it. And it would be great to see Sanrio have a canon same sex couple! Plus they are adorable together. But this season ending feels like hitting a brick wall in it’s jarring suddenness.
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